Models designed in developed countries for distribution to emerging markets are not unheard of in these globalized times. It’s a good opportunity for carmakers to expand their customer base, by taking several features that have been tried and tested on premium models and making them available at lower price points.
The Nissan Magnite Concept is coming to the Indian market
Nissan is doing just that, as it recently unveiled the Magnite Concept compact crossover for the Indian market. The Japanese carmaker has been teasing the model in the past few months, derived from the Renault Triber. Originally starting life as a Datsun, the Magnite will be carrying the Nissan name following plans to shutter the Datsun line.
“The Nissan Magnite is an evolutionary step in Nissan’s global SUV DNA,” according to Nissan Motor India marketing director Rakesh Srivastava, adding that the technologically-loaded vehicle will be a game-changer in the extremely competitive B-segment crossover category. With a name taken from the words “magnetic” and “ignite”, the production version of the Magnite will be taking on rivals such as the Ford EcoSport and the Suzuki Vitara Brezza, and is expected to herald Nissan’s first major comeback in India.
The LED headlamps rest under a sculpted grille
The Magnite slots below the bigger Nissan Kicks in terms of size, connected by swept-back headlamps flanking a massive grille bordered by chrome elements. Generous body cladding all around hint at the vehicle’s aspirations for adventure, with the off-road tires and wheels likely to be replaced on the production version. The contrasting roof gives the Magnite a sleek appearance. LED tail lamps surround a hefty tailgate and rear bumper with scuff plate – both expected to be much more subdued on the mass-market unit.
Details on the interior have yet to be made available, but Nissan representatives mentioned that the Magnite’s cabin will be among the roomiest in its class. Amenities such as automatic climate control, an 8-inch touchscreen featuring connected tech, 360-degree cameras and cruise control are heavily hinted at.
Specific elements such as the tires and wheels might not make it to the final version
A total of four powertrain options will be on offer, including a 1.0L 3-cylinder gasoline engine whipping up 72 hp mated to either a conventional manual or automated manual transmission (AMT), and a turbocharged version making 95 hp with a manual or CVT option.
Pricing is the most intriguing part of the Magnite, with reports saying that it will cost as little as 525,000 rupees (under Php 350,000 at current exchange rates). The Nissan Magnite is expected to go on sale in India by January 2021.
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Joseph Paolo Estabillo